Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Grådighet er ingen dyd

La oss kalle en spade for en spade! Utdrag fra David Kortens artikkel i Yez Magazine 5. april 2011: Greed is Not a Virtue.
In the eyes of a market fundamentalist, to sacrifice profit for some presumed social or environmental good is immoral. The result is a public culture that proclaims greed is a virtue and sharing is a sin.
Having established control of the institutions of the economy, media, education, government, and even religion, market fundamentalists initiated a global social experiment to test their theory. The results are now in.
The prophets of the older faith traditions were right. Our common future depends on rediscovering their truth and redefining our public culture and governing institutions accordingly.
The following are some of the more visible elements of Wall Street’s global campaign of moral perversion.
  • It uses control of media outlets, advertising, and politicians to shape and spread a global culture of individualistic greed, material self-indulgence, ruthless competition, and moral irresponsibility.
  • Through the pursuit and celebration of financial gain at any cost, it provides role models for immoral behavior.
  • It undermines democracy and the legitimacy of government by buying politicians to do its bidding.
  • It uses student loan programs to get the best and brightest youth mired in debts they can repay only by selling themselves to jobs that serve Wall Street interests.
  • It buys up and monopolizes control of the world’s land and water resources in anticipation of extracting monopoly profits by charging what the market will bear as scarcity increases.
  • It uses its financial power and creative accounting skills to manipulate markets and obscure market signals, as when helping governments hide their debt or helping corporate CEOs hide their insider bets against the future of their own companies.
  • It buys the deeply discounted debt obligations of hapless underwater homeowners and countries on the open market and then demands full value payment from governments or philanthropists who step in to lend a helping hand to the afflicted.
  • It puts in place global rules requiring that if a government introduces regulations that prevent a foreign corporation from harming or killing people with its toxic products or discharges, the country’s government must compensate the corporation for the profits it estimates it will lose.
The seven life-serving virtues of humility, sharing, love, compassion, self-control, moderation, and passion are considered sins against the market. - David Korten
This hauntingly beautiful documentary tells the story of the greatest financial crisis we will ever see — the one that’s on its way:

Relatert lesning:

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Quality Without a Name

Hurdal Verk, Akershus

The building, like the countless buildings of traditional society, has the simplicity of a rough pencil drawing. Done in a few minutes, the drawing captures the whole – the essence and the feeling of a horse in motion, a woman bending – because its parts are within the rhythm of the whole.

And just so with the building now. It has a certain roughness. But it is full of feeling, and it forms a whole.

The Timeless Way of Building, by Christopher Alexander, page 474

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Community Schooling

Stephen Downes writes:

“In this 15 minute video I outline my criticisms of home schooling and describe success factors for an alternative, community schooling.”

Watch the video here:


In a society which emphasizes teaching, children and students - and adults - become passive and unable to think or act for themselves. Creative, active individuals can only grow up in a society which emphasizes learning instead of teaching.

Instead of the lock-step of compulsory schooling in a fixed place, work in piecemeal ways to decentralize the process of learning and enrich it through contact with many places and people all over the city: workshops, teachers at home or walking through the city, professionals willing to take on the young as helpers, older children teaching younger children, museums, youth groups traveling, scholarly seminars, industrial workshops, old people, and so on. Conceive of all these situations as forming the backbone of the learning process; survey all these situations, describe them, and publish them as the city's "curriculum"; then let students, children, their families and neighborhoods weave together for themselves the situations that comprise their "school" paying as they go with standard vouchers, raised by community tax. Build new educational facilities in a way which extends and enriches this network. - Christopher Alexander

THE VILLAGE AS CAMPUS (includes another video on community schooling)


By its very nature, the village and the VillageTown becomes a supportive community. As soon as people get out of their cars and slow down, they begin to recognize each other:
  • Children live in an adult world, not an artificial world of children
  • Adults become role models... at work or relaxing on the plaza
  • Students witness the relevance of their studies, as they see adults applying knowledge and learning on a day-to-day basis
  • Boredom is replaced by an enriched social and cultural environment
  • The plaza and the pedestrian streets are safe for young children to play
  • Predators do not find opportunities in such a community, there are too many people watching
  • Parents don't hire babysitters, they buy an extra bed for the neighbors kid
  • Daycare comes to mean something very different
  • Elders form natural bonds with young people - as humans did since the beginning of time until we invented retirement homes
  • Teens have space, but not too much space to hurt themselves or other (such as no cars means fewer crashes)
If education consists of time, place, subject matter and social relationship, the element proposed to be realigned is "place". Do not segregate students, include them in the life of the community, but as students. This has numerous educational benefits and it saves millions in investing in a separate campus infrastructure that is then used less than 15% of the year. - Village Towns

Friday, July 1, 2011

En kvalitet "uten navn"

Med glede ble jeg i dag kontaktet av en av mine nye "Alexandrine" venner (selv ble jeg Alexandrin februar 2010 etter tilfeldigvis å ha kommet over A Pattern Language), Federico Mena Quintero, programmerer og skaper av GNOME. Pussig dette at systemdesignere, som Federico og Alan Cooper, så lett begriper Alexanders teorier, mens for arkitekter er det som om han kommer fra Mars.

Alexanders 15 verdier for liv, derivert ut fra biologi, matematikk og fysikk, er like nyskapende som de er urgamle. Her sett i en fossil trilobitt. Foto: Didier Descouens 

Note that in TheNatureOfOrder, written more than twenty years after TheTimelessWayOfBuilding, ChristopherAlexander gives a name to what he used to call "the quality without a name": wholeness.
Federico Mena Quintero kontaktet meg i dag fordi han har fullført et kapittel i ei bok han ble spurt om å bidra til.
Your posts at the PRI blog have been great, as always. In particular I appreciated your summary and quotations from "The Timeless Way of Building", as I don't have that book and haven't been able to find a *cough* online copy.
Recently I was asked to contribute a chapter to a book on tips for newcomers to the free software universe, and I decided to write about "Software with the Quality Without a Name".
Vel, jeg bøyer meg i støvet for å bli kreditert av en som har en så til de grader dyp og ektefølt forståelse av det Alexandrinske univers (som er det ekte univers, i motsetning til det livsfornektende maskin-mekanistiske univers vår verden lider under i dag).

Jeg vil herved introdusere det norske folk for Federico Mena Quintero sitt forunderlig kildevannsklare og glitrende, splitter nye essay: Software that has the Quality Without a Name.

Intervju med Federico Mena Quintero på P2P Urbanism fra arch4peopleVimeo:


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